Wednesday, 25 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: “Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” – an updated version | Johnson's Russia List

This is a compelling and authoritative book on Vladimir Putin by Fiona Hill and Clifford G Gaddy from the US Brookings Institute.

BOOK REVIEW: “Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” – an updated version | Johnson's Russia List

I have a hard back copy and a Kindle version of the original edition of the book.  Surely, I'm entitled to receive the updated version for free!?

It's well worth a read as its cuts through all the crap spouted by Western Media, amateur psychologists, would-be Putinologists.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

1st Space Walk - 50 years ago

On March 18, 1965, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first person to take a spacewalk when he, attached to a tether, spent 12 minutes floating outside the Voskhod-2 spacecraft. 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy International Women's Day

It is a throwback from Soviet times but it remains a national holiday in Russia today.  It is the day when women are celebrated - with wives, girlfriends, daughters, mothers, mother in laws, grandmothers, aunts, etc, receiving flowers, chocolates and cakes from the men in their lives.  

I've been in Russia on two occasions when when this holiday has been celebrated.  Flower sellers on every street and metro entrance; Men carrying cake boxes with string handles and bunches of flowers wrapped in copies of Pravda; and people greet each other with 'S praznikom' (happy holiday, i think) - it is a happy occasion which is widely celebrated.

But as women say in Russia "1 day for women, 364 days for men" bemoaning the fact that their menfolk do very little the rest of the year to contribute to the household chores. Even on International Women's day they can get a raw deal - I was walking around Red Square on a bitterly cold night of 8th March 1988 when I spotted two women shoveling snow on to the back of a truck - back-breaking work; meanwhile, sitting in the warm cabin of the truck, was their male co-worker relaxing with a cigarette!